Ricardo Azoury

Portfolio: Mining

It's the dream of finding the precious aquamarine gems in the mountain tunnels and river beds of Jequitinhonha Valley, Vale Do Jequitinhonha in the Brazilian Portuguese language, that keeps itinerant miners digging in one of the poorest regions of Brazil. It's here where the most valuable aquamarine precious gems in the world are found. Those involved in the big find received millions of dollars, or at least, that's how the story is told. But suspicions run high among the workers and information is scarce and facts change daily. It's certainly not the money or benefits as workers only get paid for their labor when they find something. The work methods used during colonial times are still in practice and the back-breaking labor is performed with pick axes. Where to start digging is chosen by a laborer's instinct, rather than scientific method. And at the end of a long day, it's not unusual to have nothing to eat before bed. The power of the fantasy of the big score is so strong it keeps thousands involved in this labor even though they know the percentages are against them to ever find anything. The lure is so great that the sacrifices of starvation, exhaustion and financial ruin for them and their families is a gamble thousands are willing to take.

Ricardo Azoury's Photo
Ricardo Azoury's Photo
Ricardo Azoury's Photo
Ricardo Azoury's Photo
Ricardo Azoury's Photo
Ricardo Azoury's Photo
Ricardo Azoury's Photo
Ricardo Azoury's Photo
Ricardo Azoury's Photo
Ricardo Azoury's Photo
Ricardo Azoury's Photo
Ricardo Azoury's Photo
Ricardo Azoury's Photo
Ricardo Azoury's Photo
Ricardo Azoury's Photo